South Africa to underpin multilaterism at virtual 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Media Statement

18 September 2020

South Africa to underpin multilaterism at virtual 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

President Cyril Ramaphosa will lead South Africa’s participation in a number of virtual sessions of the 75th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA75) commencing later today, Friday, 18 September 2020.

President Ramaphosa will also participate in selected sessions in his capacity as Chairperson of the African Union.

Heads of State and Government annually participate at the United Nations General Assembly from its headquarters in New York.

Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, UN Secretary-General António Guterres and 75th President of the UN General Assembly, Mr Volkan Bozkir of Turkey, organised this year’s activities on a virtual platform under the theme: “The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism.”

75 years since its formation the United Nations has pivotally led global efforts in areas of health, climate change, governance, human rights and the development of international law. In ensuring the stability of the world it carries out political mediation, peacekeeping, conflict prevention and resolution.

President Ramaphosa’s first participation at UNGA75 today, Friday, 18 September 2020, will be at the High Level Meeting on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Moment.

This gathering sets out a vision for delivering the UN’s Agenda 2030 and the SDG over the course of the Decade of Action and recovering efficiently to deliver on the mandate of SDG programmes from the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Monday, 21 September 2020, The President will pay tribute to the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations.

The commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations is an opportunity for reflection on the work of the United Nations and an overview of its successes and challenges.

The commemoration will reaffirm the importance of multilateralism in addressing development, human rights, peace and security.

In his capacity as the African Union (AU) Chairperson, President Ramaphosa will, on Tuesday, 22 September 2020, address the opening day of the General Debate of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The President will assert the continent’s position on global and continental peace, security and development’s challenge and outline the African Union’s programme of action in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and achieving the goal of Silencing the Guns.

South Africa is in its final year of its term as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and will take up the Presidency of the Council in December 2020.

In collaborative effort to enhance and maintain multilateralism, South Africa will partake in the following High Level Meeting during the course of UNGA75:

  • G7 Partnership for Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. High Level virtual Panel

Date: Wednesday, 23 September 2020

  • High-level meeting of the UN Security Council to be held under theme: “Global Governance and post-COVID-19

Date: Thursday, 24 September 2020

  • High-level meeting on Financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in the era of COVID-19 and beyond

Date: Tuesday, 29 September 2020

  • The Summit on Biodiversity

Date: Wednesday, 30 September 2020

  • High-level meeting of the General Assembly on the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women

Date: Thursday, 01 October 2020

  • High-level meeting to commemorate the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

Date: Friday, 02 October 2020

Proceedings at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly can be followed on UN Web TV (

Media enquiries: Tyrone Seale, Acting Spokesperson to the President –


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